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Wednesday, August 20, 2008

US July housing starts at 17-year low

BUILDERS in the US broke ground in July on the fewest houses in 17 years, signaling the residential-construction slump will continue to hurt economic growth.

The 11 per cent decrease to an annual rate of 965,000, the lowest since March 1991, followed a 1.084 million pace the prior month, the Commerce Department said yesterday in Washington. July's pace was higher than economists anticipated. Building permits, a sign of future construction, also fell.

Permits decreased 18 per cent to a 937,000 annual pace, lower than the 970,000 rate projected by economists.

By Bloomberg

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